MX23RW : Tuesday, September 25 17:31:58

Barcelona chief laments Neymar 'cat and mouse attitude'

Barcelona chief laments Neymar attitude
© Offside
Barcelona chief Jordi Mestre hits out at former player Neymar's "cat and mouse" attitude to leaving Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona chief Jordi Mestre has hit out at former player Neymar's "cat and mouse" attitude to leaving Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian left Spain for the French giants in a world-record £200m move after reportedly coming to terms with his inability to overshadow Lionel Messi's status at the club.

Barca chief Mestre has told Sport, however, that he thinks that Neymar's motivation for switching clubs was money as the 25-year-old forced through the move.

"What hurt me the most was the way it happened," Mestre said. "We were all on tour talking with him and his father, and they were not transparent. If he came to us and said, I want to go, like Cesc, Pedro, Alexis, Mascherano did, we would have reached an agreement. What you can't do is rock the boat.

"He played cat and mouse with us. It arrived at a point where we saw where things were going so we told him we would not pay his contract renewal fee.He told us nothing. If he had done, PSG would have been able to buy him for less money and it would have cost us less to sign too.

"What Neymar's behaviour created was the market inflation. We would have saved a lot of money and a lot of media noise."

Neymar, who has been a key part of Unai Emery's PSG team this season, has formed an impressive partnership up top with fellow forwards Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe.

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Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring during the Champions League game between Arsenal and PSG on November 23, 2016
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1Barcelona54101651113
2Real Madrid5410123913
3AlavesAlaves531185310
4Celta Vigo522110828
5Atletico MadridAtletico52215418
6GironaGirona522178-18
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14Villarreal512223-15
15Valencia504135-24
16Levante5113811-34
17Huesca5113613-74
18Real Valladolid503235-23
19Rayo Vallecano4103310-73
20Leganes5014410-61

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